12 Great Places To Live in Raleigh For Families

If you’re thinking of moving to Raleigh with kids and are wondering what are some of the top places to live in Raleigh for families, down below we have listed some excellent family neighborhoods in Raleigh plus a snapshot on each neighborhood sharing important facts and information.

Best places to live in Raleigh for families
Downtown Raleigh skyline

You probably already know that Raleigh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and as a family of four ourselves with two daughters currently aged 14 and 10, we love living in Raleigh for many reasons. 

In case you’re new to our website, we first moved to Raleigh in 2004 after having grown up in Australia, lived in 5 other countries, traveled to over 50 countries, yet we chose to put down roots and raise our kids here – we instantly fell in love with the vibe, the people, and the possibilities.

Raleigh, North Carolina
We love all the 180 miles of greenway trails in Raleigh

Some of the endless reasons we love living here is the incredible amount of trees and greenway trails, the welcoming Southern community, the college town vibes and facilities, the thriving restaurant scene and endless craft breweries, the culture, the climate, the festivals and events, the top schools and universities, the solid economy, the affordability, the family-friendly atmosphere, the entrepreneurial spirit and its central East Coast location (2 hours to the beach, 3 hours to the mountains).

There are a number of good neighborhoods in Raleigh suitable for families and in the greater Triangle area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill), and many of these neighborhoods rank on lists of best places to live in North Carolina, and work. See the top employers in Raleigh here and major companies here.

Lake Johnson, Raleigh
Lake Johnson is our favorite lake in Raleigh

Because Raleigh is often ranked among America’s best places to live, work, raise a family and earn a quality education, real estate in Raleigh is highly sought after and homes for sale in Raleigh don’t last long, but if you are looking for real estate agents in Raleigh to purchase your own home we can help with that too, click here to learn how we can find you one of our trusted real estate agents.

Now, let’s dive into our list of the best places to live in Raleigh for families. And stay tuned, we’ll be creating more guides on best places to live in Raleigh for young professionals, luxury neighborhoods, for college students, and much more – join our email community list so you don’t miss those!

And if you have questions about Wake County Public Schools, go here to get expert tips from a local independent consultant to families!

Historic Oakwood

Historic Oakwood, Raleigh, NC
Walking distance from downtown Raleigh

Oakwood is a 30 block historic district just north of downtown (15 minute walk) and dates all the way back to the 1800’s that rose after the Civil War. It’s home to magnificent oak trees and a combination of restored Grand Victorians built in the 1800s, to modest bungalows of the 1920s, and newly constructed homes giving you a neighborhood feel.

In addition to their passion for preserving their historic homes, many residents are avid gardeners and their backyards are often hidden gems where homeowners have created beautiful gardens.

Historic Oakwood, Raleigh, NC
Charming historic homes

Historic Oakwood borders the fantastic North Person Street and is a popular area to live for families seeking community. It’s one of the more expensive neighborhoods in Raleigh inside the beltline because of its historical value and close proximity to the city center, and it’s one of the best Raleigh neighborhoods for its historical value and community feel.

Historic Oakwood, Raleigh, NC
Tree lined streets

One of the fun Christmas events in Raleigh each year is the Oakwood candlelight walking tour, plus there are resident-only events and open to the public events including the Oakwood Garden. All up, this is undoubtedly one of the best areas to live in Raleigh.

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 3 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 25 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park (RTP): 25 minutes
  • Durham: 35 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 40 minutes

Major Employers nearby:

  • Red Hat
  • Pendo
  • Citrix
  • WakeMed Hospital
  • Wake County Government

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

  • Publix
  • Food Lion
  • Weaver Street Market
  • Village District
  • North Hills
  • Costco

Restaurants:

  • Crawford & Son
  • Oakwood Pizza Box
  • SmokeStack Cafe
  • Jolie
  • Stanbury
  • Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
  • Yellow Dog Cafe
  • The Station

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Standard Beer + Food
  • Pelagic Beer & Wine
  • Person Street Bar
  • William & Company
  • Wine Authorities
  • The Optimist Coffee Shop
  • Yellow Dog Cafe

Parks:

  • Oakwood Commons Park
  • Oakwood Dog Park
  • Lions Park
  • LeVelle Moton Park

Looking for a Realtor? Click here!

North Raleigh

cropped-lake-lynn-trail-raleigh-nc-7-1.jpg
Lake Lynn is a popular trail in North Raleigh

North Raleigh is attractive to families living in Raleigh as it offers a slower pace of life than downtown and the region is known for its nice neighborhoods filled with beautiful homes and ideal location near all of the top attractions in the Triangle region.

Generally speaking, North Raleigh is considered to be the area north of the I-40 Beltline and  generally defined as being bordered by 540 to the north, Glenwood Ave to the west, 440 to the south, and Capital Boulevard to the east.

north raleigh nc 4
Home in North Raleigh

There’s a lovely mix of locally owned shops, larger retail destinations such as the popular North Hills and the area is known for its fine amenities, upscale restaurants, parks, trails, lakes (such as Shelley Lake and Lake Lynn), Durant Nature Preserve, and golf courses (check out the championship-caliber North Ridge Country Club).

North Raleigh residents enjoy a community feel through frequent events at community centers, live events and festivals, and its ideal location near downtown and RTP makes it an attractive option for commuters.

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 15 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 20 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park: 25 minutes
  • Durham: 30 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 40 minutes

Major companies nearby:

With its convenient location in the Triangle region, you have easy access to Research Triangle Park, downtown Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill making it practical for commuters.

North Raleigh homes
Street in North Raleigh

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

The main shopping district is the fantastic and ever evolving North Hills Raleigh district. Other shopping options include:

  • Lafayette Village
  • Greystone Village
  • North Ridge Shopping Center
  • Celebration Shopping Center
  • Six Forks Station Shopping Center

Restaurants:

  • Salt & Lime Cabo Grille
  • Winston’s Grille
  • Vivo Ristorante
  • San Jose Mexican Restaurant
  • Jose and Sons Bar and Kitchen
  • And all the fabulous North Hills restaurants
North Raleigh home
Home in North Raleigh

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops

  • Hibernian Irish Pub and Restaurant
  • Saints & Scholars Pub
  • Lynnwood Grill & Brewing Company
  • O’Malley’s Pub & Restaurant
  • Jubala Coffee Shop (Lafayette Village & North Hills)
  • Sola Coffee Cafe

Parks & playgrounds:

  • Shelley Lake Park
  • Millbrook Exchange Park
  • Baileywick Road Park
  • Cedar Hills Park
  • Durant Nature Preserve
  • Green Hills County Park
  • Falls Lake Recreation Area

Looking for a Realtor? Click here!

Five Points

Five Points, Raleigh

Located just 2-miles north of downtown Raleigh, the Five Points area gets its name from the convergence of five historic neighborhoods at a five-point street intersection of Glenwood Avenue, Whitaker Mill Road, and Fairview Road. These neighborhoods include: Bloomsbury, Georgetown, Roanoke Park, Vanguard Park, and the prestigious Hayes Barton. 

All of the neighborhoods were platted in the 1910s through the early 1920s and each neighborhood has a distinct character. The area is characterized by tree lined streets, bungalows, Colonial Revival style homes, one to two story single family homes, estate homes, patio homes and townhomes.

Five Points, Raleigh
Cute home in Five Points

Rich in diversity, locals are drawn to the area because of the convenient access to downtown, pedestrian-friendly side-walked streets, pleasant ambiance, parks, and its combination of old and new.

There’s also the small town feel with the epicenter of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, pharmacies, and convenience stores. The historic Rialto Theater is at the main intersection along Glenwood Avenue and Fairview Road, and the Carolina Country Club is minutes away!

Five Points is one of the popular Raleigh neighborhoods for families.

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 5 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 20 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park (RTP): 20 minutes
  • Durham: 30 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 35 minutes
five points
Home in Hayes Barton, Five Points

Major Employers nearby:

  • Red Hat
  • Pendo
  • Citrix
  • WakeMed Hospital
  • Wake County Government

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

  • Harris Teeter
  • Publix
  • Crabtree Valley Mall
  • Glenwood Village
  • North Hills
  • Costco

Restaurants:

  • Hayes Barton Cafe & Dessertery
  • Mandolin
  • Bloomsbury Bistro
  • Lilly’s Pizza
  • NOFO @ the Pig
five points 1
Home in Hayes Barton, Five Points

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Lynnwood Brewing Concern
  • Neuse River Brewing Company
  • Nickelpoint Brewing Co.
  • Big Boss Brewing
  • Funguys Brewing
  • Lola’s Beach Bar
  • Crafty Beer, Wine & Spirits
  • The Third Place Coffee Shop
  • Idle Hour Coffee Roasters

Parks & playgrounds

  • Roanoke Park
  • Fred Fletcher Park
  • Jaycee Park
  • Fallon Park

Looking for a Realtor? Click here!

North Hills Area

North Hills
North Hills shopping district

Located just five miles north of Raleigh’s downtown is the North Hills neighborhood, also known as Midtown Raleigh. Over the years it has become one of North Carolina’s most upscale locations and one of the most popular neighborhoods in Raleigh and home to the popular shopping, dining and eating North Hills District.

This is a rapidly expanding area with more development planned, and already home to excellent restaurants, boutique stores, a farmers market and live entertainment. Though just outside of the beltline, you have easy access to I-440 and I-70 and Six Forks Road (a major thoroughfare of North Raleigh).

North Hills home
North Hills home

Here you will find a combination of new homes and established neighborhoods, good schools, access to greenway trails and the Carolina Country Club is 5-10 minutes away. Families enjoy living here for a more relaxed lifestyle yet you are within easy access to downtown. 

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 12 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 25 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park (RTP): 25 minutes
  • Durham: 30 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 35 minutes

Major Employers nearby:

  • Bank of America Tower
  • Advance Auto Parts Headquarters
  • Red Hat
  • Pendo
  • Citrix
  • WakeMed Hospital
  • Wake County Government
North Hills home
North Hills home

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

  • North Hills Mall
  • Costco
  • Quail Corners Shopping Mall
  • Harris Teeter
  • Target
  • Food Lion
  • Aldi

Restaurants:

  • Rosewater Kitchen & Bar
  • Coquette Brasserie
  • Vivace 
  • Bartaco
  • STIR
  • The Capital Grille
  • Yardhouse
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Midtown Park, North Hills, Raleigh
Market in Midtown Park, North Hills

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Vita Vite Wine Bar
  • Level7 Rooftop bar
  • Saints & Scholars Pub
  • Hibernian Irish Pub
  • Jubala Coffee Shop

Parks & Playgrounds:

  • North Hills Park
  • Optimist Park Community Center
  • Eastgate Park
  • Williams Park
  • Lassiter Mill Park
  • Cedar Hills Park

Looking for a Realtor? Click here!

Mordecai

Mordecai, Raleigh
Beautiful tree lined streets

Located a mere 1.5 miles Northeast of downtown (25 minute walk) and just a bit north of Oakwood, Mordecai is Raleigh’s oldest neighborhood and one of the most well-known historic Raleigh neighborhoods dating back to the late 18th century. 

The Mordecai House, which dates from 1785 is the oldest house in Raleigh still at its original location, giving this neighborhood its name. And Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, was born here.

Mordecai is a small neighborhood offering quaint and charming homes (many of which have been updated on the inside with modern features and amenities), tree-lined streets, quiet roads, and a rich history. There’s also a few newly constructed homes and condos available in the area.

Mordecai, Raleigh
Quaint home in Mordecai

The popularity of Mordecai has grown substantially in recent years as one of the best places to live in Raleigh for families due to its close proximity to the heart of Raleigh, peace and quiet, charm, and is popular with both families and young professionals.

It’s a relatively easy commute to Raleigh-Durham Airport and Research Triangle Park allowing residents the convenience and tranquility aspects of life, and is also within walking distance of popular North Person Street.

Choose from single-family homes including Craftsman, American Foursquare and Grand Colonials, or townhomes and apartments. 

Mordecai, Raleigh
Home in Mordecai

Mordecai is conveniently located close to two colleges, William Peace University and Saint Augustine’s University. If you’re looking for a great historic neighborhood close to downtown Raleigh, this is one of the best suburbs of Raleigh.

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 5 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 20 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park (RTP): 25 minutes
  • Durham: 30 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 35 minutes

Major Employers nearby:

  • Red Hat
  • Pendo
  • Citrix
  • WakeMed Hospital
  • Wake County Government
Mordecai Historic Park
Mordecai Historic Park

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

  • Publix
  • Food Lion
  • Weaver Street Market
  • Village District
  • North Hills
  • Costco
  • Walmart

Restaurants:

  • Crawford & Son
  • Oakwood Pizza Box
  • SmokeStack Cafe
  • Jolie
  • Stanbury
  • Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
  • Yellow Dog Cafe

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Standard Beer + Food
  • Pelagic Beer & Wine
  • Person Street Bar
  • William & Company
  • Wine Authorities
  • The Optimist Coffee Shop
  • Yellow Dog Cafe

Parks & Playgrounds:

  • Mordecai Mini Park
  • Mordecai Spring City Park
  • Roanoke Park
  • Lions Park
  • Oakwood Dog Park

Looking for a Realtor? Click here!

Cary

Cary, North Carolina
Downtown Cary

Looking for one of the best places to live near Raleigh? The town of Cary is one of the 12 municipalities of Raleigh (located 15 minutes drive west of downtown Raleigh) and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the South, and one of the most popular places to live in Raleigh for families. 

Cary is home to renowned restaurants, great shopping, endless greenway trails and parks, wooded neighborhoods, culture and arts, and abundant outdoor and leisure activities.

A thriving community conveniently located in the heart of the Triangle area between Raleigh and Research Triangle Park (RTP), Cary is repeatedly ranked among the top regions in the country to live or work, to find a home or start a business, to raise a family or retire.

Cary, North Carolina
Home in Cary

Like Raleigh, Cary has been named one of the Best Places to Live by Money Magazine, and continually ranks as one of the top 20 safest large cities nationally and the safest in the Southeast.

Cary is home to the global headquarters of SAS (the world’s leading business analytics software vendor), Epic Games (creator of the incredibly popular Fortnite game), and the home of USA Baseball National Training Complex, the North Carolina Football Club and North Carolina Courage pro soccer teams, and summer home of the North Carolina Symphony.

Things to do in downtown Cary NC
Downtown Cary

Home to many established communities, including Preston, the largest in the area, Cary is quite a sprawling area with many housing options at different price points, excellent schools, and downtown Cary is cute and thriving!

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 15 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 15 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park: 15 minutes
  • Durham: 25 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 30 minutes
Cary, North Carolina
Home in Cary

Major Employers nearby:

  • SAS Institute (one of the largest employer in the Triangle)
  • Epic Games
  • DataFlux
  • Wake County Public Schools
  • Deutsche Bank
  • American Airlines
  • Lord Corp
  • WakeMed Hospital
  • Verizon
  • John Deere
  • Kellogg’s
  • Siemens.

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

  • Crossroads Plaza
  • Shoppes of Kildaire
  • Fenton
  • Park West Village
  • New Waverly Place
  • CaryVillage Square
  • Macgregor Village
  • Maynard Crossing
  • South Hills Mall
  • All the top grocery stores

Restaurants: (just a small sample of many)

  • Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa
  • Di Fara Pizza
  • Stellino’s Italiano
  • MC Restaurants (Asian)
  • Hanks downtown Dive
  • Bosphorus (Turkish)
  • Scratch Kitchen & Taproom
  • Gonza Tacos y Tequila
  • Rey’s Steakhouse
  • La Farm Bakery
  • Kababish (Indian)
Cary, NC
Home in Cary

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Bond Brothers Brewing
  • Fortnight Brewing
  • Triangle Brewing Co
  • Cotton House Craft Brewers
  • Abbey Road Tavern
  • Woody’s Sports Tavern
  • Crosstown Pub & Grille
  • Mac’s Tavern
  • Doherty’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
  • Brew Coffee Shop

Parks & playgrounds (just a small sample):

  • Fred G. Bond Metro Park
  • Davis Drive Park
  • Walnut Street Park
  • Kids Together Playground
  • Lazy Daze Playground

Read more – Things to do in downtown Cary

Apex

Apex, NC
Downtown Apex

Just a 20-minute drive Southwest from downtown Raleigh brings you to the cute and historic downtown Apex. Founded in the 1860s, Apex is centered around charming Salem Street and is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places – it features more than 60 commercial and residential structures dating from 1870 to 1940. 

As one of the most intact turn-of-the-century railroad towns, Apex got its name from a location at the highest point on the old Chatham Railroad and is the reason for its slogan “the peak of good living” and a growing, thriving town of over 40,000 people, yet still maintains that ‘small town’ feel.

Apex, NC
Home in Apex

Apex fosters a strong sense of community and celebrates a range of holidays and cultural events through annual festivals and events. Apex is regarded as a safe community and one of the best places in North Carolina for families. Parks are a major fixture offering everything from extensive greenway trails, sports fields, playgrounds and an excellent skate park.

This is definitely one of the best small towns in America to live in and we’re lucky to have it here in the Triangle region. Was previously voted #1 Best Place to Live in the US by Time/Money Magazine (2015), and a top 10 Best Towns for Families by Family Circle ( 2014).

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 20 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 25 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park: 25 minutes
  • Durham: 30 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 35 minutes
Apex, NC
Apex home

Major Employers nearby:

Apex is convenient to Research Triangle Park as well as downtown Raleigh and Durham, giving its residents nice access to all the employment opportunities in the Triangle area, especially west of Raleigh. 

  • SAS Institute 
  • Epic Games
  • Wake County Public Schools (Cary)
  • Dell
  • Town of Apex
  • SPS Corporation

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

Apex is home to several shopping centers and most of the major grocery store outlets.

  • Costco
  • Beaver Creek Commons
  • Preston Corners Shopping Center
  • Beaver Creek Commons
  • Lake Pine Plaza

Restaurants (just a small sample of many):

  • Scratch Kitchen & Taproom
  • The Peak on Salem
  • The Provincial
  • Anna’s Pizzeria
  • La Rancherita Mexican
  • Salem Street Pub
  • Daniel’s Restaurant
  • J & S New York Pizza
colorful buildings downtown apex
Downtown Apex

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Salem Street Pub
  • Peak of the Vine
  • Doherty’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
  • Abbey Road Tavern
  • Common Grounds Coffee House
  • Mission Market 

Parks & playgrounds (just a small sample):

  • Apex Community Park
  • Apex Nature Park
  • Kelly Road Park
  • Salem Pond Park

Looking for a Realtor to buy in Apex? Click here!

Holly Springs

Holly Springs, NC
Downtown Holly Springs

Holly Springs began as a crossroads located near fresh water springs and an abundance of holly trees, where travelers would stop to quench their thirst. And despite its recent growth, Holly Springs has kept its small-town vibe. 

Located 20 miles Southwest of downtown Raleigh near the NC-540 toll road and between Apex and Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs offers a relatively easy commute to RDU Airport, Research Triangle Park, and everything Cary and Apex has to offer. 

Home to a quaint downtown, natural beauty including plentiful parks, Bass Lake (a fully stocked 54-acre lake), local theater performances and visual arts at the Holly Springs Cultural Center, year round festivals and events, and the schools are regarded as some of the best in the Raleigh area. Holly Springs is a popular place to live in Raleigh for families

Holly Springs, NC
Home in Holly Springs

Holly Springs offers new homes in new communities with tree-lined streets and pedestrian-friendly design, plus older homes with character, two private golf courses, the largest family-oriented, year-round, action sports facility in the world (Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex), you can catch a game at Ting Park, featuring a nearly 2,000 seat stadium, which is home to the Holly Springs Salamanders and two college soccer teams hosted by Wake Futbol Club.

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 30 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 30 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park: 30 minutes
  • Durham: 35 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 40 minutes
Holly Springs, NC
House in Holly Springs

Major Employers nearby:

Nearby Research Triangle Park is home to many of the Triangle’s biggest employers, meanwhile the second-largest flu vaccine company in the world, Seqirus, has a production facility here:

  • Seqirus
  • FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (coming 2025)
  • Novartis

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

Holly Springs Towne Center is a large shopping destination, there’s a Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings, plus boutiques and cafes on Main Street.

  • Holly Springs Towne Center 
  • Sunset Lake Commons
  • SouthPark Village
  • Shoppes at Holly Springs
  • Town Hall Commons
  • Harris Teeter / Food Lion / Aldi / Lowe’s

Restaurants:

  • My Way Tavern
  • Osha Thai Kitchen and Sushi
  • Hickory Tavern
  • Mi Cancun Mexican Restaurant
  • Blind Pelican Seafood House

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • My Way Tavern
  • Bass Lake Draught House
  • Shakey Raye’s Tavern

Parks & playgrounds (just a small sample):

  • Ting Park
  • Bass Lake Park
  • Womble Park Athletic Fields
  • Jones Park
  • Veterans Park

Looking for a Realtor? Click here!

Wake Forest 

Wake Forest, NC
Historic downtown Wake Forest

Located 18 miles Northeast of downtown Raleigh, Wake Forest is one of the best towns to live in North Carolina with kids (or without). A lovely small town with an historic downtown district that’s home to a charming and unique community of restaurants, shops and art galleries. 

The highly developed downtown community is tight knit and very walkable, and plays host to a number of community events throughout the year that allows its residents to form relationships.

The Wake Forest area is also filled with parks, playgrounds, and natural reserves including the popular E. Carroll Joyner Park which is a large natural space with miles of trails, an English garden, fishing, and an amphitheater. Also nearby is Falls Lake State Recreation Area, popular for boating, camping, cycling, hiking, and fishing. 

Wake Forest, NC
Wake Forest home

The town of Wake Forest is popular with families living in Raleigh due to its quality of life, its neighborhoods, and the benefit of it being within a relatively short drive to other major areas in the Triangle, and for those needing to commute to downtown or RTP. Also, the schools zoned to this area are regarded among the best in the state. 

For family entertainment, The Factory offers indoor soccer, an inflatable playground, miniature golf and go-carts, a skate park and ice rinks. And golfers enjoy Heritage Golf Club which offers top-flight golf throughout the year. 

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 35 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 35 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park: 40 minutes
  • Durham: 40 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 55  minutes

Major Employers nearby:

Wake Forest is within a reasonable commute to downtown Raleigh, Durham and the Research Triangle Park

  • CenturyLink
  • PowerSecure
  • Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems
  • East Coast Drilling & Blasting

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

  • Wake Forest Crossing
  • Gateway Commons
  • Capital Plaza
  • Wegmans, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Lowes, Aldi

Restaurants:

  • Over the Falls
  • Gatehouse Tavern
  • The Border Restaurant
  • Amalia’s Italian
Wake Forest, NC
Home in Wake Forest

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Tonic Bar & Social Club
  • White Street Brewing
  • Norse Brewing
  • Gatehouse Tavern
  • Real McCoy’s
  • Lonerider
  • Pat Murnane’s Irish Pub

Parks & playgrounds (just a small sample):

  • E. Carroll Joyner Park
  • Wake Forest Sprayground
  • Flaherty Park Community Center
  • Smith Creek Park

Looking for a Realtor? Click here!

Garner

Garner, NC
Downtown Garner

Located just 15-minutes south of downtown Raleigh, Garner is a thriving community that’s easily accessible to I-40, Highway 70, and the rest of the Triangle area. Its convenient location and surprising affordability makes it attractive for families. You can get a good bang for your buck here and Garner’s liveability continues to improve.

The town of Garner is an idyllic suburban community known for its hometown character, historic downtown area, quiet neighborhoods, and residents enjoy a unique small-town atmosphere, and the town motto is “A Great Place to Be”.

The town was named an All-America City in 2013 because of innovative, citizen-led projects that improve the quality of life and expand educational and cultural opportunities for citizens of all ages. 

Garner, NC
Home in Garner

The small historical downtown and Main Street has some charm with historic brick storefronts and cottages, and the Town of Garner maintains over 400 acres of parkland, including 12 town parks (and two dog parks), and the impressive Lake Benson, a popular spot for picnics, fishing, canoeing and events.

Arts and culture enthusiasts enjoy the Garner Performing Arts Center which hosts performances from Broadway stars to  jazz musicians, and the annual events and festivals. 

Garner could be the right place for you if you’re looking for established neighborhoods, new construction communities, or even townhomes. 

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 15 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 25 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park: 30 minutes
  • Durham: 35 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 45 minutes

Major companies nearby:

Garner is a convenient place for commuters due to its location near downtown Raleigh and major highways. Major companies in Garner include:

  • NSTAR Global Services
  • Butterball
  • Sigma Electric Manufacturing
  • TCG Legacy Printing & Packaging

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

White Oak Crossing serves as Garner’s premier shopping and dining destination. There is also a Costco 6.9 miles away:.

  • White Oak Crossing
  • Costco
  • Garner Towne Square
  • The Shops at Timber Landing
  • Timber Crossing Shopping Center

Restaurants:

  • Angie’s Restaurant
  • Carolina Ale House
  • City Barbecue
  • La Cocina Mexican
  • Big Ed’s Garner
Garner, NC
Home in Garner

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Carolina Ale House
  • Locked & Loaded Bar & Grill
  • Krafty’s Burgers & Brews
  • Trophy Brewing & Taproom
  • Full Bloom Coffee Roasters
  • Aversboro Coffee

Parks & playgrounds (just a small sample):

  • Lake Benson Park
  • South Garner Park
  • Centennial Park
  • North Garner Dog Park
  • Historic Yates Mill County Park

Looking for a Realtor? Click here!

Fuquay-Varina

Fuquay-Varina, NC
Downtown Fuquay-Varina

Located 35-minutes south of downtown Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina is a one-of-a-kind town (it was once two different towns – Fuquay Springs and Varina merged in 1963 to create the modern town) that has flourished into a family-friendly community. The population has boomed by over 300% in the past 20 years and it’s one of the fastest growing towns in North Carolina!

Its significant growth is in part to its affordable homes, convenient location near Raleigh, Holly Springs and Garner, well regarded schools, and relaxed lifestyle. Because of its history, residents can enjoy two historic downtown districts (Main Street and Broad Street) that offer vintage charm and history.

Fuquay-Varina, NC
Home in Fuquay-Varina

Fuquay-Varina also offers the chance for residents to stay active via its fair share of green spaces, parks, golf courses and trails (20 parks with more than 500 acres spread throughout the town) including Hilltop Needmore Park, a former golf course that’s home to miles of walking trails. And a unique place to learn about its history is at Fuquay Mineral Spring Park.

The town also plays host to local festivals, a thriving art scene, a Growers Market, coffee shops, local boutique stores and restaurants, cool breweries and a vibrant atmosphere. 

Fuquay-Varina, NC
Downtown Fuquay-Varina

Choose from new construction or move-in ready homes in established streets, and Fuquay’s location in the Triangle near Raleigh and recognition as a safe town makes it a practical suburb for commuters and great place to raise a family. 

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 35 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 35 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park: 35 minutes
  • Durham: 45 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 50 minutes

Major companies nearby:

You could commute easily to Raleigh, RTP, Cary, Apex and Holly Springs areas, but a few of Fuquay-Varina’s top employers include:

  • John Deere
  • Wake County Public Schools
  • TE Connectivity
  • Bob Barker 
Fuquay-Varina, NC
Home in Fuquay-Varina

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

  • FUQUAY CROSSING
  • Sexton Commons
  • Hilltop Shopping Center
  • Shoppes at Holly Springs

Restaurants:

  • Joyce & Family Restaurant
  • Aviator Smokehouse
  • Vicious Fishes Taproom & Kitchen
  • Abbey Road Tavern
  • Garibaldi Trattoria-Pizza- Pasta
  • The Mason Jar Tavern
  • Little Portugal
  • Culver’s
Fuquay-Varina, NC
Downtown Fuquay-Varina

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Vicious Fishes Taproom & Kitchen
  • The Mason Jar Tavern
  • Abbey Road Tavern
  • The Brickhouse Bar & Grill
  • Triple Barrel Tavern
  • TCB – The Corner Biergarten & Bottle Shop
  • Cultivate Coffee Roasters
  • The Mill

Parks & playgrounds (just a small sample):

  • Falcon Park
  • Carroll Howard Johnson Environmental Park
  • Library Park
  • Action Park
  • Fleming Loop Recreational Park
  • Honeycutt Road Park

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Knightdale

Knightdale, NC
Home in Knightdale

25 minutes east of Downtown Raleigh is Knightdale, one of the fastest growing towns in North Carolina. It feels far enough removed from the city but close enough to the major interstates like US-64, I-87, and I-540 that make accessing downtown Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, and Durham easy.

Kinghtdale is an affordable alternative, and whilst it may be small, this fast-growing community is known for its parks, community events, local businesses and well-known retailers, historic and new construction neighborhoods with beautiful homes of varying styles and price points.

Anderson Point Park and the Neuse River Trail are popular natural playgrounds, and Knightdales expansive parks and recreation system including the fabulous Knightdale Station Park boasting its own farmers market, amphitheater, playgrounds, sports courts, and splash pad adds to the liveability of the town. 

This is a growing hub for young families living in Raleigh as it offers all the convenience of being near the city in a quiet suburb and relaxed living, but within easy access to all the things in Raleigh-Durham.

Neighborhood Snapshot:

Drive times to: 

  • Downtown Raleigh: 20 minutes
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 30 minutes
  • Research Triangle Park: 35 minutes
  • Durham: 40 minutes
  • Chapel Hill: 50 minutes

Major companies nearby:

Living in Knightdale you have good access to downtown Raleigh and a relatively short commute to Research Triangle Park, Cary, Garner and Durham. Check out the Chamber of Commerce.

Shopping & Grocery stores nearby:

  • Knightdale Crossing Shopping Center
  • Midtown Commons Shopping Center
  • Shoppes at Midway Plantation
  • Lowes Foods & Food Lion
Knightdale, NC
Home in Knightdale

Restaurants:

  • Prime BBQ
  • Craften Neighborhood Food Hall
  • Grand Street Pizza
  • El Señor Mexican Restaurant
  • Saltgrass Steak House
  • iPho Sushi Kitchen & Bar
  • Slice of Ny Pizza

Bars/Breweries/Coffee shops:

  • Oak City Brewing Company
  • Bearded Bee Brewing Company
  • The Taproom
  • Overtime Sports Pub

Parks & playgrounds (just a small sample):

  • Knightdale Station Park
  • Anderson Point Park
  • Knightdale Community Park
  • Knightdale Parks & Recreation
  • Wake Stone Athletic Park
  • Hedingham Community Park

There you have it, what we feel are really good neighborhoods in Raleigh to raise a family. You can’t go wrong with any of the areas, but of course your budget, work situation and family makeup need to be considered.

Now, let me ask you, if you’ve lived in Raleigh for a while, what are the best neighborhoods to live in Raleigh NC? Please share your suggestions on the best places to live in Raleigh for families in the comments below!

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